thank you all for being here. i'm directer of the kansas city public library, it's a great pleasure to have you here and have will chafe here to talk about his excellent new book. called the reflective, ranchy and rivetting. i want to write a book that gets that kind of press myself. i'm trying to live a life that first of all. [laughter] but this book and tonight's top i -- topic will remind us we have a presidential campaign going on in which there is a human cry about what is truth and what is fact, what is fiction, what is a lie, and it reminds us most of this is reterritorial exaggeration but there was a time in american history there were really great liers. we're going to be reminded of that tonight. remember barry gold water talking about richard nixon? i can't tell you what he said,
it's a family library and family television tonight. but there was a time when there were great liers. i want to quote from will chafe's book briefly. it's a dual biography of hillary clinton and bill. the clinton as a family with a certain kind of character. here on page 150 one subject only here. but bill displayed his inability to come clean about issues that were core of identity. sometimes he layed. more often he shaded the truth. awsmsz he -- worked to his own benefit. and you wonder, i have happen to be at yale as a undergraduate when they were in law school together and one wonders about the attraction and one reads this second bit from page 256
which is interviewing about hillary clinton. i can tell you about ken star who had dinner with at this time. i won't because it would make it go on too long. in the end he determined he did not have enough evidence to indict hillary clinton. the camps of disingenuous statements were abundant. something irregular later, and perhaps illegal had taken place in arkansas for the first lady much more than her husband and the heart of it. you do understand the attraction the clintons had for each other. [laughter] i want to -- [laughter] i'm going from our author, who gives one of the great historian of american liberalism. no restraint. and a gender and racial equality in the history of the country.
he's a ph.d. from colombia, and dean at the professor of history at duke university. the author of a number of excellent books. and i'd like to end my introduction on a more nonpartisan note, you'll be happy to know. i've written one of the previous books which it a book i really, really liked about a man a great liberal, at his core a great left liberal. and they wrote a book about him and howard lo enseen was one of the people responsible for the creation of a new left movement, if you will, the american politics but he was also a man who embraced larger ideas of american politics. symbolized by the fact at his funeral he was killed by a deranged mentally defective
colleague of his at the age of 51. but at the funeral yule gis were made back to back by ted kennedy and buckley. that's a time in american politics and history we could fondly remember after the last decade or two of complete partisanship. it's something he written eloquently. as he writes eloquently about the problems of the clinton please welcome will chafe. [applause] [applause] >> thank you so much. i am thrilled to see this audience. i'm grateful, i'm extremely impressed. i thought i would begin about telling you about my career and how i came to write this book.
i didn't start as biographer. i started as a social historian. i wrote four books about the women's history and the movement and the civil rights movement, and only toward the last ten years, fifteen years have i started on the questions of what makes an individual try to change history? but i would argue this is actually a strong coherence in all of this. when you're writing about social movements, when i was writing about the -- that lead to the sit in movement in north carolina and 19 60. i was feeling what happened to the poor people. how did they make up their minds to put their lyes on the line? when they did that, within nine weeks, there were slr demonstrations in 54 cities and
nine different states. a new phase started because four young individuals decided to make history. that got me interested in all of the individual making history and i did write the -- because in some respect it helped to highlight what makes someone come to the point actually decide to intervene in the historical coming to together. i wrote a book called "private lives and public consequences" it started on the roosevelts and ended with bill and hillary clinton. the more i look at clintons, the more i became aware how
important their personal chemistry was. not only on their lives together but in shaping the last quarter. st the 20th century. that's what i want to talk to you about. the heart of the relationship which they function together, the way in which their chemistries interabilitied with each other. in order to create the kind of partnership that ultimately lead them to a critical period of being in charge of our country. where does it all begin? with their childhoods, of course. and one of the things we have to recognize that at least in the case of bill clinton we're talking about one of the most dysfunctional childhood that could ever exist. bill's mother, virginia, was an amazing woman. she writes an auto biography every morning she spent ninety minutes putting makeup on.
why was she doing that? she tells you. she was doing that so she could hide who she really was. she really did not want to come to grips with who she was. she had a difficult relationship with her mother. she loved her father, as did bill, who had a difficult relationship with her mother but loved his grabbed father. and virginia was a very interesting person. not willing to confront some of the realities of her life. so she twiefnt school and met a man named bill buys who told her she was a salesman and fell in love. he went to italy. he had also been in czar army. he didn't know until forty years later, had been married with three times, and was still married when he married her. when he came back from italy. he was killed driving back from chicago toward arkansas to see
virginia. bill had not been born. was killed in an automobile accident. virginia went back to school leaving bill to be raised bier his grandmother and grandfather. she fell in love with another person named roger clinton. roger clinton did not know had been married four times, and had accused in one of the divorce cases against him of physical abuse of his spouse. they both liked to drink. they both liked to party, they were both flirtation. it became soon where alcoholism abuse and normative. they were part of daily life. bill is raised in that family and bill becomes the instrument of saving that family. he frequently comes upon his stepfather roger beating his mother and saves her from the
beatings. and promises that he's never to get that happen again. when you read about children of alcohols and people in that kind of family dynamic is that a child like bill clinton begins to feel like he has the responsibility of bringing healing to that family. redeeming, of creating honor where there's dishonor. he basically sets out to be the person who is going to be redeeming the family. he's an incredible student. the front of his class. he becomes very active in boys nation, which is a junior american legend. gets nominated to go to washington as at quote, unquote, boys' nation candidate for u.s. senate. goes to washington, he's already six feet tall. she strides to the front of the line when they go to the white house to see president kennedy. kennedy finishes his speech and
bill goes forward and gets i his picture taken with dead i did. -- kennedy. he's proud. he's dedicated to the idea that he's going bring complete honor the family. by the age of 17 he's planning to be elected of attorney general of arkansas and governor of are and president of the united states. which is something that someone knows him knows about. he talks about about it all the time. he goes to georgetown. he become the arkansas candidate for the fellowship and goes to oxford. she is an incredible success everywhere. he cannot have a sustained ongoing relationship with a woman. he is attracted to the kind of women his mother directs him who are the beauty qiens who are the one who are flirtation. who are attractive. and that's really where his eyes have been. until he comes back to yale law school. there he meet the hillary rod
em. now hillary writes writes in her own memoir as if were childhood were more or less idealic. it wasn't. her mother, dorothy, was an amazing human being. her mother was born to a 15-year-old and 17-year-old. they were in los angeles and when she was eight years old, her parents put her and her 3-year-old brother on a train by themselves to go back from los angeles to chicago. there she continued to be mistreated by her grandparents until finally she was able to get off on her own and went to work as a secretary in a factory. a lace curtain factory president owner of the factory was hugh and he married dorothy. hugh was gruff, he was strong, he didn't communicate very well,
he frequently had vicious arguments which he wife which he spoke disparagingly and got eye abusive toward her. he was not that nice to his own children. one example is that as a child left the top off the tooth paste jar, the tube in the bedroom, he would take that tooth paste top throw it in snow and make the child find it. it was not someone whom you felt warmly toward. and basically discoure think was the person, hilary's mother who essentially sustained her. sustain sustainedder in three ways. she was an active mained death. she wanted her to go to the methodist youth fellowship she met a young pastor named don jones. he introduced her to the social
conscious, fighting for civil rights and issues like that. dorothy helped hillary to stand up to people if they were intimidating her. and she made hillary a proud young woman. but she also conveyed a pivotal lesson to hillary. the lesson was there's nothing, nothing in the world more important than saving your family. you must hold ton your family, protect your children, and not even ever consider the issue of divorce. this is a reflection of her own experience with her husband. she's conveying that message to hillary and telling her never give up. never give up on your family. well, when "bill and hillary" are at yale, she's there a year before he is. he comes back from oxford and goes to yale. he's troubled. i'm not sure how how much of you
know about yale law school. it's not infrequent that students go to class because they're off doing other things. political campaigns, social activism, bill didn't go to class the first three months he was at yale law school. he was active in politics. hillary did go to class. she was active also. she became that first year close to marion wright. and she was very committed to a whole series of social issues. she was a leader all during her time at yale. a leader who was a reformer, who was an activist, but who never stopped listening to people around her and tried to build bridges to people and never alienated the people in power like the president of wellsly or the dean of the yale law school. most common story about how they met is they kept on staring at each other across the room. and one day hillary goes up to him in the library and says,
look, if we're going to keep on look at each other don't you think we should introduce ourself to each other. that's the most commonly story told. the other one, which i like better, is the fact that bill was attracted to the young woman who was totally different from his mother. she never wore makeup. she is coca-cola eye classes. she never wore smart clothes. and she was basically a nerd. and a good nerd. the other story is that he wanted to meet her, he followed her to registration, even though he already rebelling strerred and snuck in to the art museum to see an exhibit and they tawgded for a long time. the next day when bill called, she said, she was sick. and bill made chicken soup and brought it to her. i like that story. in some ways, it's a wonderful story. anyway, they shortly thereafter
became a couple. they clearly were in love with each other. they fought viciously all the time. but they also made up beautifully and they were very kind to each other. and they were very different each other. this is the key, these were permits that were incredibly different from each other. but complimentary. bill was full of affect. he was the emotional one. he couldn't stop making friends, reaching out to people, envoting all kinds of emotional ties. hillary was structured, disciplined, focused, get to it, bill, she'd say. make the point. when they argued, in court before yale judge, he was always make the emotional arguments and she was making the hard-nosed legal arguments and basically they were acting out this complimentary. he being the feminine and she
being much more classically masculine. because they fell in love and lived together, bill proposed. he never thought he was going to do this, he proposed and they were in england on a trip after graduation, and basically hilary said i'm not sure i'm ready for this. why was she not ready for this? 1973, they wanted to work for the mcgovern campaign. tbhil austin, hillary in stone imroa. she was brilliant, and she was working with a wonderful person named betsy wright who became a life-long supporter of hers. and betsy wright said hillary, you are going to be the first woman president. you are bright. you are a feminist. you care are accidently for what you believe in. you have the talent to become the first woman president. and hillary had the
aspirations. she really did. but then there was bill, bill had the charisma. the incredible political outreach. the ability to speak to large audiences and mobilize people. hillary was attorney. how does she do it? she is very aware that bill is not someone who is going to give up his fill landerring. she knows. when he runs for congress in 1974, she's working in washington. she knows bill is having a number of relationships. she sends her father and brother to the campaign, to quote, unquote, to help out but in fact to watch him. the campaign is such that whenever the they come in, they whisk, quote, the college girl out of the headquarter in order they don't have anything in common with each e other. the college girl leaves the campaign and gets married to someone else. she's aware of the fact it's an ongoing penchant of bill
clinton. she's confused. she moves to arkansas to teach in law school. and she basically finally makes the decision that it's worth the gamble. they're in love with each other, they compliment each other, they each have skills that the other does not have, and as long as they can work together, she believes it is more likely that as partner in this case can achieve their goal of politically transforming the country than if each one were to take their own individual qualities and pursue them on their own. it's an interesting wedding. she buys the wedding dress the night before the wedding in the department store. they did not go on a honeymoon. they are a together couple. he becomes elected as attorney general and governor of arkansas. the youngest governor ever elected in the country. it's a fascinating period of time. one of the things most interesting, if you lock at the
first two years of the clintons gubernatorial turn in arkansas, it's almost a replica of the first two years of the clinton administration in washington. it's total chaos. there's no organization. there's no chief of staff. there's no structure, he's asking for ten thingsed at once. not one thing in particular. it's not well organized. hillary is knows two people on the staff who are best friends. bill knows two other people. they fight all the time. they get themselves in big trouble because he ends up supporting a tax bill in order get more money to fix the roads. the tax bill is one which actually puts a heavier tax on weighty vehicles than on lighter ones. working people with the older cars are paying most of the money for the taxes. and totally unpopular. at the same time, a whole slew of human refugees come in and
president decides to relocate most of them in arkansas. it's not popular with the arkansas people. even though bill has won the governorship with 57% of the vote in '78, he goes down with a crushing defeat '80. he is dismayed. he is suffering credible depression. and hillary steps in and rescues him. she said, bill, we will organize a re-election campaign. we will create a new structure. she went out and got dick mars, i had is the political guy from new york who actually worked with when in politics for awhile. and dick pulled the hell out of every question that could be asked. and he got the right answers how to appeal to the people in arkansas. and hillary put the campaign together in such a way that it was a streamlined effort that was ultimately very successful. back up to '57% of the vote in 1982. at that moment in time, they are
partners and in exchange for all she's done for him, she becomes the most important person in the administration. he puts her in charge of the education task force because he says, in words that are almost exactly the ones he used ten years later when he put in charge of the health care task force. i wanted the most reform of my administration to be handledded by the person closest to my many life. that's hilary. she does a stunning job. she has hearings all over the state. she succeeds in passing the legislation which is needing. she essentially designed to bring arkansas from being 49th to the country to a better position. bill becomes a leading governor, and he actually is thinking about run for president in 1988. he's going run for president in 1988. and he's about to make the announcement for the candidacy, and he's called a press conference and brings his
friends in. two things happen, betsy wright was now his chief of staff or was his chief of staff, says to him, bill, you know, your philandering is going to be an issue in the campaign. she had a list of 30 to 40 women he'd been with during the governorship subpoena she went to seek bill and he was talking candily to her. she came out of the meeting and he said told me about another ten women i didn't know about. she said, you know, you have to be ready to deal with this if you're going run for office. the second thing that happens is that night chelsea comes to her dad she's now 8 years old and says where what are we going do on vacation next summer? and he says, you know, we probably going to take a vacation. i'm going to run for the presidency. she said okay, we'll have a great time with mom.
[laughter] and bill starts to think and realize that, you know, i'm about to lose my relationship with my 8-year-old daughter. and this is probably the right time to do this. he makes the big announcement he's not going run. he's going devote more time to his family. one of the things that's going on here, which you'll see again and again. we are talking about a roller coaster. someone who succeeds big time and plummets and succeeds big times again and plummets and succeeds big time again and plummetses and on and on. and then we're not sure about the plummet. [laughter] so after that announcement he's not going to run for president, he goes in to a huge depression kind of like 1980 when he's defeated for office. and for the first time in his life, he develops a long-term love relationship with another woman. he is so in love with her, he
asks hillary for a divorce. a two and a half relationship. hillary says no, i'm not going do it. it's almost as she's hearing her mother's voice. no, i'm not going to do it. i want to stay together. i want to go to marital counseling and pastorrial counsel. they do a year and a half later, he's ready to recommit to the relationship. he loves both women, he said. he's not ready to recommit to the relationship. and in that period of time, the beginning of 1991, probably at no time they have been more together as a couple with a common purpose, a common role and the way to proceed to get it. they are working together for him to become a candidate for the presidency of the united states. but they also know that that problem is out there.
and hilary is always proactive -- preemptive she knows it's going to come up. he's not going to attack bill because it's there. she's going basically try to help them through to come out of it okay and in good shape. and so in the summer of 1991, they go and have breakfast [inaudible] who was the washington correspondent for the christian science mod or it. and he has this regular meeting with politically important people. a bunch of reporters are present. they raise the issue of the rumors of bill's philandering. and hilary says, i want you all to know we had trouble in our lives as married couple. but we love each other. we believe in each other, i love my husband and we're going tape together for the rest of our lives. and they are blown away by her commitment. ha they don't know and what
neither of the clinton knows it's a dress rehearsal. nine months later when bill is soring in soring in the polls and almost on top of paul in the new hampshire primary, the senator from massachusetts, next door city. at that very moment, jennifer flowers says she has a 12-year love affair with bill clinton and has the tape recordings to prove it. hillary steps in immediately and takes over. and before you know it, they're doing a repeat of the breakfast doing it on "60 minutes" after the super bowl, the largest tv viewing audience you imagine, and they are magnificent and hillary is the one who basically say, i love this man, e had a good marriage. yes there have been problems with regoing to stay together because we believe in each other and we believe in our common goal. she literally rescues that
president candidacy. that the moment in time, his poll numbers had plummeted because of the charges. now they come back up. and all during that period of time, he is talking about hillary as his copresident. two for the price of one. someone who will play a major role. in other words, her rescue of him has an instrumental and increasing her leverage, her power, her ability to make a huge difference. and that's the context within which they enter the white house. there are a whole series of issues that take place. largely a function of the new relationship that existed where in effect hilary is acting as the roam of president. he insists of having an office in the west wing. although of them will sigh off on the decisions. she insists on not having a
strong chief of staff. it would in sense be a threat to the power she is now exercising. she announces that she will become -- bill announcing but she is going to the chair of the health care task force. the most important initiative reform initiative of the administration. she basically suppress the instingtd of the variety of people in the white house who say we should go welfare refirst. it's going to win over a bunch of conservative. that will provide us the credibility to go forward and achieve the health care reform. she says no. health care reform first. she goes and visits a few democratic senators and says we going to doty be ourself. we're not going comprise. we're going get 100% what we want. and we're going demonize the republicans who oppose us. people like bill bradley are stunned. how can you talk this way? we have to work with the people. she insists we will have 100%. not 95%. she could have had 95 percent
any time that year. the republican from rhode island and other people were willing to go to 95%. no. we're going to go all the way. she is the person who says we're going borrow the white house press corp. from entering the white house. where the press secretary is. she's the one that fires the staff leaves the travel staff. these are the people who rick tag care of the reporters. you don't want to alienate the reporters. she's the one bind it. when it becomes a huge scandal. she instructs vitamin sent foster to hide any indication he's been involved in all of this. perhaps the most important thing she does is when clinton who knows he's in trouble, brings on david goringen, he's been served three different presidents all republicans. major figure in the u.s. and news report. a figure in washington
politics. he brings him on to build bridges to the washington community and accomplishment and he negotiates a deal with "the washington post and the deal is that the clintons will make available to the post all the papers around white water including papers from the law firm. and if they find nothing criminal in those papers, they will promise to completely defend the integrity of the clintons and wipe away the scandal. bill says that's a good idea. george says that's a good idea. most political people in the white house say that's a good idea. you need to ask hillary and hillary says no. those are my papers, i can throw them to a photographer if i want to. i will not make them available. that's in december of 1993. the consequences are immeasurable. immediately "the washington post and "the new york times"
organize huge campaigns of investigating what happened. there's more coverage of white water and the country in the next six months. three times as much coverage as there is of health care. at the same time, they demand road for the -- and clinton cannot resist it. haze to do. he announces there will be a special prosecutor to look in to white water. that special prosecutor becomes star. they go after hillary primarily. he can't get her. he can't get her because she's effective. he thinks he can indict her but he can't. but he persists in the effort to do so. that's what leads us ultimately to monica and the trip and impeachment. that one decision not to bring those papers to "the washington post sets in motion a sequence that ultimately leads to the scandal being so public and to
the impeachment process. well, after the first 18 months, it's clear that health care is not going to go anywhere. nevertheless, hillary insists it is 1994, state of the union message, bill clinton saying i will veto anything less than 1% than what we're asking for. everyone thinks that's crazy. it in the end health care goes down and never comes up for a vote. in 1994 election happens, clinton is devastated and 81 congressional seats lost. and everything kind of begins to fall apart. hillary is no longer going to play the kind of role. she starts writing the book becomes more involved at the advocate for women and children around the world. she becomes more spiritual in her own activity. bill takes the advice of dick
morris who kill -- hillary calls back to the white house. v chip for the tv set to your kid don't have to watch porn. put police on the ground. tax cuts for children for parents with kids in college. and then comes oklahoma city a terrorist bombing. and bill is brilliant. he once again rises to the top. he is a preacher healing the country. he is magnificent in bringing people together. and on the're side niej contract with america -- gingrich contract with america and take bill clinton down. it's a total failure. they shut down the government twice. every time they do that clinton goes up in popularity. and he has an extraordinary victory. in 1996, which is stunning what a comeback. this is a third comeback yet. 1982 in arkansas, after the
flowers episode and now with the rerex in 1996. he's at the peak of another one of these cree sen doughs in the roller coaster. but whenever you're there, you center to think what's going on down below. because during that same period of time he's carrying on a 16 month affair with a white house intern. it's crazy, it's stupid, it's insane. newnew year's eve, easter sunday, 16 months, and when monica gets moved out the white house because enough people are concerned about how often she's around the president's office they transfer her to the pentagon. she meets a new breast friend call -- best friend linda trip. she tape records all conversation and has it all down. guess what? linda tripp is in contract with
a right-wing people who get the information to ken start. and we be et the paula jones trial and bill clinton is asked to testify. and bill clinton is asked the question did you ever have sex with a woman named monica lee win sky. he says, no i never did. no i, i never did. clinton claims he was telling the truth. from his point of view sex is intercourse. regardless. the scandal breaks. bill goes and tells hillary. he said i did not have sex with her. she came to me. she was troubled. tried do what i could help her. and hillary stands by him 100%. first of all, she doesn't believe it. given the surveillance in the white house. she doesn't think it's possible. and she believes that the marital therapy they had done in '89, '90, and '91 had been sufficient to restore the
relationship. bill is insecure at that point. bill -- thing bill clinton does after the charges are made, he asks dick more sis to do a poll on whether the american people will accept infidelity in the president. and dick morris reports back to him and says, umm, they'll accept it but they won't accept purge i are, the lying under oath. bill says he's going hang in mr. there. you recall the first time he's confronted with the question by jim on the evening news and asked about the scandal and he said there is no sexual relationship. he's weak, he's vacillated and uses a present tense verb. everyone gets worried at that point. and hillary steps in and goes on the today show and says all of this is a vast right-wing conspiracy. it is. it's more than that.
and she stiffens his spine. puts him in a position of outright denial. for six months he's successful. and basically buys time. and the american people become more comfortable with the idea of a president who may have actually done this. when finally he has to testify before a federal grandeur and admit, a quote, unquote, inappropriate relationship. hillary has to make the final decision whether to rescue him again. this time he is told her yes, i did have a relationship with monica. and it was terrible thing i did. he asked her forgiveness. for the last time she says, i will standby you. ly stick by you. i will not abandon you. that is pivotal. as pivotal because this is a moment of in time a number of senators democrat and emergency republican were considerrening going to have white house and
saying to the president you should resign. just like they did with richard nixon in '74. hillary standing besides him rescued him. it also rescued her. she liberated he's. it's going to be the last time she has to do this. she can now think about her own career. at the same time, she is standing by bill clinton over monica, she is talks to the people in new york who want her to run for the senate. on the impeachment -- on the day of the impeachment vote in the u.s. senate, as the senate is voting she is having a three-hour meeting with the campaign team about the new york campaign. in many respects she goes back and becomes the person she was as a student. a centrist building bridges, listening to people, finding out they want what they want to have happen in new york. she becomes incredibly
successful united states senator. she bilged bridges. her best friends -- not her best friends, john mccain lindsay graham. so so there now in a different place. bill managing to come back, he always was an effective economic president. he almost redeems himself by bringing peace to the middle east, she is off doing incredibly important work in new york. but her life is more independent than his. and she becomes in a sense an independent person one more time. they are still together. they still are in love. but now she's the person in charge and it's her career that is at stake. we have never had this kind of story in the american white house. we have never had this kind of personal chemistry.
and it's a personal chemistry which both incredibly enriches our understanding of what took place during the 0 years, and also leaves us with an abundance of unanswered questions. and now it's your turn to ask the questions. ly try to answer them. thank you. [applause] [applause] >> ladies and gentlemen, if you have a question for professor, please come up to the microphone and please ask it as question. no statements of introduction which is to unless it's to my introduction. >> i can't see many hands. people have to come walking up to the microphone. i was in an audience of 60 the other night and i had 25
questions. >> not that i want 400 questions. >> in your opinion, do you think hillary clinton will run for president in 2016? >> yes, i do. [applause] [applause] >> i think that -- you didn't ask this question -- i think in 2008, that she the campaign was not very well run. it was run by bill's people. bill pen who was dick mar's number one associate. i think that bill lost control during that campaign and said things that were harmful to her candidacy. i adopt think it will happen again. she's shows a measure of post and skill that is very, very deeply impressive. i would argue that one of the things he accomplished in the
brilliant speech with the high points in the roller coaster, one of the things that happened in the speech he l solidified his own rep tear as having been a extraordinary president if most the most successful but extraordinary. he paved the way for hillary's candidacy in 2016. got out of the way by paving the way. >> as a followup, when hillary clinton runs in 2016, how will she manage bill and what kind of role do you think he will have? [laughter] [applause] [laughter] >> well, as you know, they lived the part for most of the month ever since she went to the u.s. senate. i think they talk on the phone a great deal. i think that they are still close, but i think they are not going to live together for a long time. he'll stay in washington. she'll stay in new york.
my bet would be she's going run her own campaign this time. i would think if she's elected, i would be surprised if he moves full scale to the white house. i would think he would live part time in the white house and part time in new york. he thinks he's going to die young. whether he thinks he's going survive that long, i'm not sure. >> do you see any comparison between the hillary clinton marriage and fdr and eel near. >> no. do i see any comparison between the hillary bill marriage and the fdr eleanor marriage? the reason i say, no, yes, franklin and eleanor were political colleagues. starting in 1922, which fdr contracted palo. polio. she was the political surrogate. he head the dank. she was instrumental in many of
the reforms of the new deal. but franklin had an affair with hillary's private assistant during world war i when she found out, she wanted a divorce. and that was really the end of their marital relationship. their political relationship remained in intact. they never became intimate people again. so the reason why it's difficult is that they had carved out distingive roles, they were very important roles. eleanor was an e extraordinary first lady. it was not something that was a product of the personal chemistry and their ongoing intimate relationship. yeah? >> if hillary is a bridge builder, what happened with the health care and what would she have done differently if she would done it today. >> i think she would have made the comprise. she would have gotten the bill passed. why did all that have happen?
i think it happened because both in arkansas then in washington she fought and bill fought. she more than he. they were at the war with the washington establishment, they -- the washington -- both of them. bill club ton frequently lie to the press. they didn't like him at all. she didn't like the press at all. that's why she did the thing with the white house press corp. and travel gate and stuff. i think that her decision at that -- position at that point was she gave up anything she might give up everything. she held on to things and got the polarized. once again, a kind of attitude which was a vast right swing conspiracy argument. i think that she lost what she had in college and in law school, which was this sense
that her role was never to alienate somebody but to stay in touch of them. it was a function of how fearful she was that she would loss the power that she succeeded in gaining and therefore she had fight it all away to have is it her own way. yes? >> would you comment on the relationship between president clinton and president obama and how hilary -- her role in there. >> well, i think none of us know fully what the relationship is except that i think bill clinton made a very conscious decision that was it was to his self-interest and the interest of the democratic national convention and the interest of his wife that he become instrumental in making the case for obama's re-election that obama could not make himself. no one is better at mastering the at rite ma tick of complicated questions.
the number of thins he put on the table at deng xiaoping -- democratic national convention talks us through. i think it was the high point of his entire political life. i think that they are different people. probably the two smartest people who were president of the united states. but i think that bill clinton was someone who could make never make up his. mind. he would make a decision and reverse it. he was up until 3:00 in the morning frequently debating these things. president obama doesn't work that way. he gets all the opinions, he hears them out, and he has a sense of what is time frame is to make a decision. he makes the decision. so they have very different in the style. that's why the bill clinton white house was frequently chaotic and whatever you want to say about the barack obama, it's not chaotic. >> a followup to the earlier question to your response, if
she is a bridge builder again, they sometimes do better i won't say behind the scenes but less in the front. how does that jive with maybe a president who isn't necessary a bridge builder but needs to be a leader. is she a more capable leader or a more capable bridge builder. >> i adopt think we know the answer to that question yesterday. i would say that if you look at different model of the presidency. fdr began as become a consensus president who tried to great bipartisan and then by 1934, 35 the liberty league started, people had become very, very partisan in their political response. and he became himself partisan. he announced in the economic royalist and then in the '36 campaign saying i see one-third of a nation ill housed, ill clothed and ill feed. then you go to lbj he was most
the effective legislator to ever live in the white house. how did johnson do that? first of all, by manipulating people and twisting arms. how did lyndon janson get the civil rights ability packed? he had scotch every singling night with that man. they talked through it all. and they basically ended up, you know, republican voter for cloture. it happened. i don't think hillary clinton is going drink scotch every night with everybody. i think she would basically try to work with people like lindsey graham, assuming he's in the u.s. senate and basically try to create these. i think obama thought he had that with boehner, and then it blew up in his face. hilary would have handled that differently, i think. >> the comment on several characters. jim and susan mcdewing l,
james carville, and what lead to the suicide of vitamin sent foster. [whistling] >> how much time do we have? [laughter] first of all, jim mcdoug l is kind of a weird person. he has a lot of psychology abnormalities, and he is very manipulative, and, you know, when he proposed the white water deal, bill was not interested at all. hillary clinton thought was a great idea. it was basically her idea. jim is sick. susan, his wife, was an incredibly suffering person who never betrayed her confidence in and trust in the clintons. and she was treated scandalously by kenneth star who her e man kled and put her in solitary confinement. it was the horrible in which he treated her until she was able to get out of jail.
james carville everybody to stand to talk about him, who is probably won an academy award. [laughter] i'm not that person. the the last? i'm sorry. that is the most trackic event one can conceive of. vitamin sent foster and west hubble and hillary clinton were best friends in the law firm. it they had lunch every day. west and vitamin sent protected her when the law firm was accusing her of taking too much time to do politics. she used to call him [inaudible] she would flow a birthday party have a belly dancer come in and perform. they were so close. it was incredible. when he went to the white house, that relationship changed.
and he became more someone she gave orders to. among other things she gave him orders to travel gate and to suppress the evidence of her involvement. she put him in charge of the white water papers. his comment that it was a can of worms. it was a can of worms. the relationship basically lost the fiber. it was one incredibly tragic story. he became depressed and went to the psychiatrist and got antidepressants. they had not kicked in. a week before he killed himself, hubble and foster and hillary clinton were at the swearing in ceremony. and hillary clinton said, hey, guys, let's have dinner this weekend. let's have like old times and they say terrific, let's do it.
and the plans were made to meet saturday night. going to have drinks and go italian restaurant. fosterers and hubbles were there together. phone call comes from the white house and hilary says we can't make it for drinks. we have a crisis. someone in bill's family appeared on the landscape. et. cetera. we'll see you at the restaurant. they go to the restaurant, another phone call comes. we can't make it to dinner. we have stay here. at which point, vince foster turns his chair away from the table and says not another word during the entire dinner. seven days later he killed himself. the night before he killed himself, bill clinton worried about him asked him to come to the white house to see a movie together. vince foster say, no i'm watching a movie here at home. the movie he was watching had a funnel scene in which the person
put a gun in his mouth and shot himself. that's what he does the next day. it's pure, pure tragedy. horror. >> when was that chelsea's nanny quote, unquote, discovered the missing billing records for the white water? [laughter] there's a direct connection between those when those records were quote, unquote discovered and the fact that two days earlier a memorandum was published by one of the people who had handled the entire white water affair for the white house staff. this was all getting very dirty and public. it was going happen fast. and i think that person decided it was better to come clean and
reveal the records were there than to continue to say they have been lost. >> the clintons did a remarkable job of keeping a chelsea out of the lime 0 light. >> yes. >> as have you. where does she fit in in to there? >> i think that she was incredibly important to both of them, and that hillary clinton was acting on her belief that her mother taught her. nothing is more important than the family. and bill was devoted to her. i think they were successful in being able to keep her childhood as private as possible. when the monocan affair broke she was at stanford. she forbade her father to come near the stanford campus. when bill finally confessed to
hillary clinton he had the relationship with monica, hillary said, you have to be the one that tells chelsea. yeah? >> -- ladies and gentlemen. thank you. >> booktv is on facebook. like us to interact with booktv guest and viewers. watch video and get up-to-date information. facebook.com/booktv. here's a look at some of the upcoming book fairs and festivals happening around the country. next weekend booktv will be live from the texas book festival. our event coverage includes presentations by hw brands. rachael sworns and many more. checkbook tv.org for an updated schedule of event. the the kentucky book fair is on november 9th and 10th. it's known as kentucky premier